Opportunities Available



Are you a parent or grandparent and would like to use this experience to offer support, friendship and practical help to parents and young children?

We are a small friendly team based in Sturminster Newton and the families we support live in the North Dorset area.


  • Who volunteers?

As long as you have either been a parent or had experience of working/being with children, you can apply to become a Home-Start volunteer.  We have had volunteers as young as 23 and the eldest was 78.  We welcome Mums and Dads.  Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and are selected on their qualities of warmth, understanding and empathy.  We value our volunteers’ life experiences and match them to families based on skills, interests and availability.

  • What commitment does Home-Start ask from you?

Every potential volunteer must complete a 30 hour preparation course before being matched to a family, (6 sessions)  We ask you to commit to the organisation for up to a year.  Once matched you will then need to be available to visit your family for 2-3 hours per week at a day and time that suits you, as well as receiving a face to face supervision every 6 weeks with your support worker.  Volunteers are then asked to attend at least two extra training sessions a year, run by Home-Start based on relevant topics such as Domestic Abuse, School Readiness, GDPR. 

  • What can you expect from Home-Start?

We offer a full preparation training course which will cover areas such as active listening, safeguarding children, boundaries when working with families and child development and play.  Every six weeks you will meet with your support worker for a supervision as well as the office always being available for extra support and advice.  We offer ongoing training opportunities which are not only relevant for your work with families, but a great addition to your CV.  We organize fun social events for our volunteers at least once a year as well as the opportunity to get involved with our fundraising events.   We feel that it is important for volunteers not to be out of pocket whilst doing voluntary work, so we will cover all travel expenses, however unfortunately we are unable to reimburse any child-care costs.

  • What kind of families do you support?

There is no typical Home-Start family.  Families are referred to us for a variety of reasons, but common themes include loneliness, anxiety, learning to play with children, helping with boundaries or routines, or helping someone settle in a new home after fleeing domestic abuse.   We always visit our families in their homes before matching to a volunteer and carry out a risk assessment to ensure your safety.  All the families we work with have chosen to have our support and therefore have a desire to make positive changes in their lives.

  • Do I have to commit to a year?

If you would like to work with families but can’t commit to a year or don’t want to go into families’ homes, you could get involved in one of our new group support projects, where we offer support and friendship to groups of families in one setting.  Call the office to find out more.

Click below for an application pack.

Home-StartNDleaflet – Copy

Person specification and role description for a Volunteer

Volunteer Application Form Aug2020



Once you have completed the training and we have your DBS check you will be matched as soon a suitable family becomes available.  This is typically within 1-3 weeks.


A volunteer typically support one family for 3-6 months.  A support worker will then review the support and visit the family to see how things are going and discuss ongoing need.


This will very much depend on the needs of the family, but often just being a friend and providing adult company,  going for a walk, accompanying the family to a group or activity, or giving an extra pair of hands if the family have multiple children under 5.  Our volunteers can give help and advice on budgeting or planning meals, signposting or may be a trusted advocate for the family in a Team meeting.  We will carefully match your skills to the needs of the family.


Yes of course!  As long as you give us and the family advance warning.  Because we are working with vulnerable families it is vital you are able to commit to supporting them.  We recommend phoning the family or rearranging a visit if you are unable to see them due to your own circumstances.  Some volunteers are not able to support families during the school holidays.  This should be discussed in advance with your Support Worker.


We ask you to fill out an application form and send it back to the office.  We will then visit you for an interview, before accepting you on the preparation course.

“I love being able to help people get back on their feet and to watch the families grow with just a little bit of my time every week”

“Knowing my volunteer visits on Tuesdays gets me through Mondays”


We always need Trustees from all walks of life that are committed to our charity and to help it strive forward in new adventures. If you are looking to give back to the community and can spare around 10 hours a month we’d love to hear from you.

Home-Start North Dorset is governed by a group of friendly Trustees who are all unpaid volunteers who come from a range of backgrounds and communities across North Dorset.

Trustees work in partnership with staff and volunteers to support families and to give children the best start in life.

Roles and responsibilities are defined, through Home-Start UK training, to make sure Trustees have the necessary qualities, skills and knowledge to govern effectively and responsibly ensuring that legal and financial obligations are met.

We are always keen to hear from people who are interested in supporting our organisation by becoming an Advisor or Trustee.

Please contact the office on 01258 473038 or [email protected] for further information


For a Trustee application pack please contact the office on 01258 473038 or [email protected]





Home-Start North Dorset is a self-funded charity.  We work in partnership with Home-Start UK but are responsible for raising all our own funds to run the charity.

We are always interested in anyone who would like to help us with fundraising. From sponsored events to coffee mornings, our fundraising initiatives are always looking for volunteers.  

Anyone can take part.  If you would like help fund raise for Home-Start North Dorset please contact us for details or ideas.

Help in the Office

You don’t need to be on the Management Board to help us with events or in the office. If you have some spare time or if you are a younger person who would like to have some voluntary work experience on your CV, please contact us.

We can always find you something worth doing while you are looking for long-term employment! And you will find it rewarding to know that not only are you promoting our cause for families, but improving you own prospects having given your time to voluntary work.


Please contact the office on 01258 473038 or [email protected] for further information



Registered Office: Office 2, The Exchange, Old Market Hill,
Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT10 1FH.